Pricing

How we charge for our services

We like to offer our clients certainty on fees. We do this by charging fixed or capped fees, wherever possible.

We operate a different model to most traditional law firms, in that the majority of our solicitors have been qualified for at least 10 years. We offer a very practical, personal service and our fees reflect this.

Hourly Rates

Our standard hourly rates are:

  • Partners: £260
  • Associates: £220
  • Paralegals: £100

We charge for our time in units of 6 minutes, so £26 per unit for partners, £22 for associates and £10 for paralegals.

All fees shown on this page exclude VAT, which will be charged at 20%.

Where we agree a capped fee, we will charge for the work on a time basis up to the capped amount.

Fixed Fees

A fixed fee means that we will charge the agreed fee, irrespective of the amount of time spent on the project.

Where the project or transaction does not reach its conclusion (i.e. you or another party decides to withdraw), we will charge for our work on a time basis at our hourly rate. The total fee will not exceed the agreed fixed or capped fee.

Commercial Property

We do not have a set fee-scale for commercial property work. However, we typically charge fixed fees of:

  • 0.5% of the sale / purchase price; and
  • 5% of the first years’ annual rent for a commercial lease

For very simple matters, we may agree to charge less. For very high value properties, we may also agree to charge lower percentages.

Fixed Fees

Where we offer a fixed fee, we will set out the scope of the work in our client engagement letter. If the transaction takes longer than anticipated, for reasons beyond our control, we will still charge the agreed fixed fee.

If you ask us to do work outside the agreed scope, then we will provide another quote for that additional work. The additional quote may be fixed or charged on a time basis - we will agree it with you before starting the additional work.

Payment by Time

For clients who prefer to pay on a time basis, we are always happy to do so and we will never spend longer on a matter than is required. We will charge at the hourly rates set out above, unless we agree to lower rates in our client engagement letter.

Timescales

For commercial property work, timescales vary a great deal. It might be possible to conclude a simple lease in one week but many transactions take 1 - 3 months. We will always try to manage your expectations and work to your preferred timescales.

Residential Property

As a commercial law firm, we do not typically deal with residential conveyancing for people moving home. However, we do act on the following types of residential transaction:

  • HMOs purchase where the lender is separately represented, e.g. Shawbrook Bank or bridging lenders.
  • Large houses for development.
  • Blocks of flats where investors are looking to ‘title split’ and create leases of individual flats.
  • Conveyancing for HNW individuals and family offices.

Fixed Fees

Our fixed fees start at £850 for a freehold purchase or sale. For purchases, we  charge an additional fee of between £500 and £750 to deal with your lender and its solicitors.

We charge an additional fee of £250 for leasehold properties (typically flats), as there is more to do than with a freehold property.

For residential properties with a price of £1m or higher, our fees will usually be fixed at between 0.20% and 0.25% of the price.

For complex transactions, we reserve the right to quote a fixed fee which reflects the complexity (see Additional Fees below).

Typical Fees

Here are some examples of our typical fees for residential  conveyancing:

  1. HMO purchase for £195,000 with loan from bridging lender
    Fixed fees of £950 for purchase and £500 for loan work
  2. HMO  purchase for £325,000 with loan from bridging lender
    Fixed fees of £1,100 for purchase and £500 for loan work
  3. Flat purchase for £2m with loan from private bank
    Fixed fee of £4,000 for purchase and loan work
  4. Large estate purchase for £4m+ with loan from specialist lender
    Fixed fee of £15,000 for purchase and loan work

Our fees always include dealing with your stamp duty land tax (SDLT) return and registration at the Land Registry.

Additional Fees

From time to time complexities can arise and in those circumstances you may be charged additional legal fees. We will advise you of any additional fees before they are incurred.

Typical circumstances where additional fees may be incurred are:

  • buying a property with tenants in situ
  • issues with planning or other regulations
  • access and other right of way issues
  • defective title issues


Charges for bank transfers and ID checks

  • same day bank transfer fee - £30 plus VAT
  • identity checks - £10 per check plus VAT

Key stages in a sale/purchase

The precise stages involved in the sale/purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances.

Typical stages in the sale of a residential property include:

  • Taking your instructions and giving you initial advice
  • Obtaining title documents from the Land Registry
  • Obtaining all relevant documents, such as copy planning consents.
  • Preparing a draft contract and sending a pack of documents to the purchaser’s solicitors.
  • Requesting a leasehold information pack from the freeholder or their agent, if your property is leasehold
  • Obtaining a redemption figure from your mortgage lender, if appropriate
  • Responding to any preliminary enquiries raised by the purchaser’s solicitors
  • Sending the final contract to you for signature
  • Agreeing completion date – the date from which you must vacate the property
  • Exchanging contracts and notifying you that this has happened
  • Obtaining a final mortgage redemption statement and your estate agent’s account, if appropriate
  • Completing the sale.
  • Repaying the outstanding mortgage, settle your estate agents’ invoice and accounts to you for the balance of the sale proceeds.

Typical stages in the purchase of a residential property include:

  • Taking your instructions and giving you initial advice
  • Checking finances are in place
  • Receiving and reviewing the draft contact
  • Carrying out searches
  • Receiving and advising on any enquiries raised by the seller’s solicitor.
  • Obtaining further documentation, if required
  • Making enquiries of the seller’s solicitor
  • Making the preliminary arrangements to pay off any mortgage(s)
  • Preparing SDLT form for signature
  • Sending final contract to you for signature
  • Agreeing completion date – the date from which you own the property
  • Exchanging contracts and notifying you that this has happened
  • Completing the purchase
  • Dealing with the discharges of any mortgage(s)
  • Dealing with payment of SDLT/Land Tax
  • Dealing with any leasehold requirements and notices to the freeholder, if your property is leasehold
  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry

Our people

The members of our team listed below may work on your residential conveyancing matter. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by either Imdaad Sulaiman or Richard Spencer.

Our residential conveyancing team is comprised of:

Disbursements

You will also have to pay disbursements. These are costs payable to third parties. You should budget for the following:

Sale

Land Registry title documents: £3 per document / Total cost is usually £9 - £15

Purchase

Leasehold Properties

For leasehold properties, you may also have to pay the following:

  • Sale: management pack - often £300+ payable to freeholder/agent
  • Purchase: Notice of purchase / mortgage - often £50 - £100 payable to freeholder/agent

Timescales

Most residential transactions take 8 to 10 weeks. If there is no chain, it is possible to complete much more quickly. We often complete in 4 to 6 weeks.

In 2019, we completed on a house purchase for a cash buyer in 3 days. We are known for being fast property conveyancing solicitors.

Litigation / Debt recovery

Undisputed business to business debt recovery

Below are our costs in relation to undisputed business debts on a single instruction basis (if we are asked to handle multiple debts we will adjust our fees accordingly). We will either work on a fixed fee or on an hourly rate basis, depending on what is more appropriate for your case. If the other party disputes your claim at any point, we will discuss with you your options and/or what additional work may be required and what costs might be involved. This might be on a fixed fee or on an hourly rate if more extensive work is required.

Pre-Action Costs

Letters before action

We charge a fixed fee of £250 plus VAT for sending the debtor a letter claiming payment in writing and sending you a copy of the response received. To prepare that initial letter we will need the following information from you:

  1. Name and address of the debtor.
  2. Amount owed.
  3. Documentation (i.e. copy invoices) and/or other evidence to demonstrate how that debt has arisen and whether interest or other charges have been added and if so on what basis.

Legal Proceedings - Costs

Court Action

There are two processes you can use to try to recover an undisputed debt:

  1. Court Claim
  2. Insolvency Action

1. Court Claim

When to use?

Court action is commenced by filing at court a claim form with details of the claim and payment of the court fee. Once the court has served the proceedings the debtor has 14 days to respond (or if they file an acknowledgment of service 28 days). If they don’t respond, you can apply for judgment in default. The main benefit of using the court action process for undisputed debts is that it gives you access to the court’s enforcement methods. The most likely to be of benefit are:

  1. Third party debt order – where a third party who has access to the debtor’s money is ordered by the court to pay you (usually used against a debtor’s bank).
  2. Charging order – where the debt is secured against the debtor’s assets (property, shares, vehicles or other assets).
  3. Bailiff – where the court bailiff seeks to recover assets to the value of the judgment (up to £5,000).
  4. High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) – for debts exceeding £600 we can instruct for you a HCEO to transfer the claim to the High Court and seek the recovery of assets. A HCEO have greater powers of seizure than a bailiff.

Our Costs and Court Fees

Due to the varying complexity of the work at this stage, we will adopt an hourly rate charge for this work which will operate on a sliding scale depending on the value of the debt. Our fees listed below are an indication of the maximum fee we anticipate based on the varying debt values and how far the matter progress. We will ensure we provide you with a clear view of the total cost and will keep you updated about costs at all times.

Debt Value
Our Maximum Fee (excl VAT)
Our Hourly Rate
Court Fee
Total (excl VAT)
Up to £5,000
£750
£125
£25-185
£775-£935
£5,001-£10,000
£1,500
£175
£410
£1,910
£10,001-£50,000
£2,000
£195
£5% of value of claim
£2,000 plus applicable court fee
£50,001-£100,000
£2,500
£210
£5% of value of claim
£2,500 plus applicable court fee

Our fee includes the following:

  1. Taking your instructions and reviewing your documentation
  2. Undertaking any appropriate company searches
  3. Receiving payment and sending on to you, or if the debt is not paid drafting and issuing the claim at court
  4. Where no acknowledgment of service or a defence is filed at court, applying to the court to enter judgment in default
  5. When judgment in default is received, writing to the debtor requesting payment
  6. If payment is not received within 14 days, providing you with our recommendation on enforcement steps.

Points to note:

  1. The Court fee can be recovered if successful in your claim, but the legal costs are not recoverable in claims of £10,000 or less (such claims are allocated to “the small claims track” where legal costs are unrecoverable except in exceptional circumstances).
  2. If you are registered for VAT, the VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.
  3. Interest and any compensation under the Late Payment of Commercial Debt (Interest) Act 1998 may take the debt into a higher banding, with higher costs.
  4. The above costs are not for matters where enforcement action, such as the bailiff, is needed to collect your debt.
  5. It is useful to assess the prospect of the debtor making payment. We can obtain credit reports and instruct investigators to report on the debtor’s ability to pay, which is an additional service.
  6. If the debtor disputes the debt, you may be unable to remove yourself from the claim unless you compromise the claim, succeed at trial or discontinue the claim (which usually requires you to pay the debtor’s costs).
  7. The above costs do not include entering into discussions or negotiations with the debtor – we can do so, and in this situation, we will always discuss and agree our cost with you before proceeding.

2. Insolvency Action

When to use?

The undisputed amount of the debt must exceed £750. This process often places greater pressure on the debtor to make payment as if successful the company is wound up and a liquidator is appointed. However, it is not appropriate in many instances.

It can be used as an alternative to the court claim or used after obtaining judgment (most use it as the alternative).

There is no requirement for the service of a statutory demand (see below), but it helps to serve one as it gives you another opportunity to extract payment by placing pressure on the debtor.

Our Costs and Court Fees

Due to the varying complexity of the work at this stage, we will adopt an hourly rate charge for this work on the same sliding scale as set out above. Again our fees listed below are an indication of the maximum fee we anticipate based on the varying debt values and how far the matter progresses. We will ensure we provide you with a clear view of the total cost and will keep you updated about costs at all times.

Stage
Our Maximum Fee (excl VAT)
Disbursements (excl VAT)
Type
Amount
Total (excl VAT)
Statutory Demand
£500
Process Server
£150
£650
Winding Up Petition
£2,250
(a) Court fee/Deposit
£1,880
(b) Advertising costs
£84.60
(c) Process Server
£150
(d) Advocate at Hearing
£150
£4,514.60

Our fee includes:

  1. Taking your instructions and reviewing the documentation
  2. Undertaking any appropriate company searches
  3. Preparation of all documents to progress the stages.
  4. Correspondence to the debtor at key stages to seek recovery before the claim progresses.

Things to note:

  1. As soon as a genuine dispute of the debt has been put forward by the debtor, this process should not be pursued.
  2. If the debtor is wound up, the debt and the costs paid will form a debt in the liquidation. There may be other unsecured creditors and in some cases this can mean no recovery of your debt or a very small percentage and often this will be delayed.
  3. If you are registered for VAT, the VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.
  4. The above costs do not include entering into negotiations with the debtor – we can do so, and in this situation, we will always discuss and agree our cost with you before proceeding.
  5. It is useful to assess the prospect of the debtor making payment. We can obtain credit reports and instruct investigators to report on the debtor’s ability to pay, which is an additional service.

Timescales:

Matters commonly take approximately 4 weeks from receipt of instructions to receiving payment from the debtor. Where proceedings are necessary it can range from 3-6 months from the letter before action to enforcement of judgment and/or a winding up of the debtor.

Most other dispute resolution and litigation work is carried out on a time basis at £260 per hour.

Our people

Our litigation team is comprised of Scott Rowe, partner. Scott qualified as a solicitor in 2004.

Get in touch

With us, you have an experienced partner looking after you for similar rates to those charged for junior lawyers at large regional/City firms.

Please contact us to discuss your transaction or case.
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